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Health

09 - 11 - 2016

Ebola, bats and humans

Researchers have identified the genetic mutation that allowed the Ebola virus to spread in human populations in West Africa from 2013 to 2016. A very small change in a surface protein of the virus allowed it to penetrate easily into human cells, and at the same time, lose its capacity to easily enter into bat cells, its usual host.

This mutation was discovered using cell cultures. It will now be studied in animal models to better understand the consequences and perhaps pave the way for new treatments or vaccines.